Behavioural Change

Jo Geraghty


Early to rise? A long hours culture

Date added: 13th Jun 2016
Category: Behavioural Change

Research says a culture of long hours may be good for the pocket but not for long term health.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise.

At least that’s how the saying goes, but how true is it in reality? Well, some research from Hillarys Blinds seems to indicate that at least part of the saying may be right. A survey looking at people’s morning habits revealed that the 37% of people who get up before 7am have average earnings of £36,500 against £21,300 for later risers.

Getting up early also seems to correlate with number of jobs held (eleven versus five), with early risers also spending their waking moments on job-related tasks. Is this a good thing? Well it is if you value salary over lifestyle but surely what this research is indicating is that income can come at a price and that price is giving away sleep and leisure time to your organisation.

There will be some whose natural body clock leads them to go to bed early and wake up early, but for others an early start could be storing up health problems in later life. Businesses which maintain a long hours culture, organisations which expect their people to catch up on emails before they arrive at the office or to give up sleep time in favour of work are perpetuating a culture which gives little to the work life balance. Maybe it’s time to rebalance the saying, to be wise and to give more priority to health over wealth.

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